(article by Elizabeth Renter)
Whether you consider yourself an animal rights activist or you’re “just” a pet owner, seeing an animal brutalized can conjure feelings of outrage and disgust. Even meat eaters don’t really want to know what goes into the production of their burger, because ultimately, it’s distasteful. But when meat and/or dairy production amount to horrific abuse, don’t we have a right to know?
You would think these corporations would seek to remedy the potential fall-out by changing their practices, by ensuring the animals they produce are treated humanely as possible during their short lives. But, that would be wrong. Instead of cleaning up their image by changing their ways, Big Agriculture and the lobbyist groups that protect them would like to see the whistle-blowers turned into criminals.
Ag-gag laws are those that criminalize individuals taking photos or videos at factory farms with the intent to reveal inhumane, unsanitary, or questionable practices. Such laws have already been passed in some states and are in the works in many others.
According to Wired.com, Iowa, Utah, and Missouri passed such laws in 2011 and 2012. Ten more states have pending legislation on the table in 2013. The most frightening proposed law of all, in Pennsylvania, would make it a crime to even download such videos from the internet. Yes, not only could the whistleblower face criminal charges, but so could anyone who chooses to make use of their product.